September 18, 2008
Titans in Toronto III dinner to feature many new faces
Bruce Swayze, Dave Drason and Reggie Love at Titans in Toronto II.
Things are shaping up quickly for Titans in Toronto III, a fundraising dinner for the Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame. Some great names from years gone past are committed to attending the September 27th dinner, as well as a few recent WWE wrestlers.
"For me, it's always fun to have some new names come out to the dinner," said SLAM! Wrestling Producer Greg Oliver, one of the event's organizers. "This year, our third, we've accomplished that."
New attendees to the dinner include Angelo "King Kong" Mosca, Ricky "Soulman" Johnson, and Beverly Shade, as well as former WWE stars Chris "Masterpiece" Masters and Highlander Robbie.
The dinner, to be held at The Factory, 34 Futurity Gate (Dufferin and Steeles in Vaughan), on Saturday, September 27th, with a 6 p.m. cocktail hour, is the third fundraising dinner to happen in Toronto. Previous dinners, in 2004, and 2006, were tremendously well received and raised well-needed funds for the PWHF in Amsterdam, NY. Each ticket costs $60, with roughly half of the money going to the Hall.
"I am glad to hear that we will be seeing some new faces this year; I want to thank all involved for making this the best fundraiser for the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame outside of the Induction Weekend," said PWHF founder Tony Vellano.
The twin brothers, Jian and Page Magen, are key figures behind the scene at the dinner, using their experience running events as well as their love for professional wrestling.
"It's a chance for us to give back to a business that has entertained us through the years," said Jian Magen.
Magen Boys Entertainment and their Twin Wrestling Entertainment will also present an afternoon wrestling show at The Galleria Mall, at Dufferin and Dupont, in Toronto's west end. The show, which features autographs from noon to 1 p.m., and starts afterwards, features Chris Masters, Highlander Robbie, Ash, Hornet, Bill Skullion, Extremo, Flesh Gordon, Vlad the Penatrator, and Jason Sensation. It's a free show, presented in partnership with The Galleria.
"King Kong" Mosca is making his Titans in Toronto debut. "The business was good to me. I respected the business," he explained.
Other confirmed names for the Titans in Toronto dinner include:
- "Wolfman" Willie Farkus is one of the names making his third straight appearance. He headlined Madison Square Garden against Bruno Sammartino.
- Waldo von Erich, billed as a brother of Fritz von Erich, also headlined MSG against Sammartino, and worked around the work as a hated German villain.
- Big Mac is a fixture in Ontario wrestling, driving a ring around, but he also had a successful career in the ring as well.
- Ron Doner stayed close to his Newmarket home for most of his career, and later built a successful car dealership, which is still in his family's hands.
- Hamilton's Hurricane and Cyclone Smith were red-headed twin wrestlers in the early 1950s.
- Ron Logue was another competent grappler out of Hamilton who worked locally and trained a headliner in Paul DeMarco.
- Jet Starr was a veteran of the Bearman circuit around Ontario.
- Veteran woman wrestler Beverly Shade is making the trek from Mississippi just to see some old friends she knew from her summer tours with Bearman Dave McKigney around Ontario.
- "Rotten" Reggie Love might just be one of the funniest people to ever lace on the boots. The former Love Brother will be the youngest 81-year-old in the room.
- Bob Adessky got out of wrestling more than 40 years ago, after a stab at promoting in Vermont. "The Canadian Jewish Wonder Boy" began his career in Montreal in 1946.
- Tim Gerrard was a solid underneath talent during the glory days of Maple Leaf Wrestling in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
- Known today as "The People's Uncle" for his more famous nephew, The Rock, Ricky "Soulman" Johnson wrestled for decades as well, including alongside his brother, Rocky Johnson.
- Paul Leduc was half of the feared Leduc tag team with "brother" Jos. Since retiring, he's gone into writing and promoting, and has seen his whole family continue on the famed family name.
- Gino Brito's contributions to the history of pro wrestling are often overlooked. His father and uncle were wrestlers, and Brito helped his dad start midget wrestling. He later became a star wrestler himself, and a promoter in Montreal.
The late "Fabulous Moolah" Lillian Ellison was among those who came to Titans in Toronto II.
- Highlander Robbie was trained by another attendee, Waldo von Erich, and achieved his career goal, with a run in the WWE alongside his partner, Rory, in the Highlanders.
- Known as "Masterlock" Chris Masters during his WWE run, Chris Mordetzsky of California is a bonafide main eventer on the independent circuit these days.
- If you were a wrestling fan in the 1980s in southern Ontario, chances are you knew three famous people from Brantford, Ontario: Alexander Graham Bell, Wayne Gretzky and … Mad Dog Rex (Neil Carr).
- Peppi Dipasquale was a regular talent around Buffalo in the 1970s, and later became a well-respected hockey trainer.
- Though her in-ring career lasted just a short while in the 1970s, Rachael Dubois' memory lives on in many a young man's heart. As the step-daughter of Bearman McKigney, she has more than enough stories to keep up with "The Boys."
- "Dangerous" Dan Gervais still dons the tights on occasion when called upon near his Ottawa home, almost 20 years removed from his time in International Wrestling.
The evening's MC will be former manager "Supermouth" Dave Drason, who is coming up from Detroit, and is attending his third dinner.
Andy Stephanidies, the son of the late wrestler, Ali Bey, is another key figure in the Titans in Toronto dinners. Having grown up around wrestlers and wrestling, it's a chance to see a few old friends and keep his father's memory alive.
Tickets still remain for the dinner, but are going fast, so book your ticket soon. Orders can be placed through the phone, at 905-513-6464, with a Visa, or via Paypal at http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Wrestling/titans-in-toronto.html.
PREVIOUS TITANS IN TORONTO DINNER STORIES
2004: Memories abound at Titans in Toronto
2006: Legends celebrated at Titans In Toronto II
Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame website